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Artificial Turf & Synthetic Grass <br> Mid-Summer US Market Update

Artificial Turf and Synthetic Grass IS the
Fastest Growing Segment of the Carpet Industry

  • Overall growth past 5 years = 20% pa
  • Landscape and leisure sports uses, as niche market = 35-45% pa = 4+ years
  • More styles to select from, more realistic and flexible for wide use
  • A wider selection of builders to choose from and sources of materials
  • Adoption of BMP; product standards and installation guidelines

“The market value of the grass carpet alone is estimated at €1,250m (approx $1.940m USD) in 2007.

The grass yarns are made from PE (polyethylene), PP (polypropylene) and PA (polyamide or nylon), and they are fast developing both in terms of the performance of the polymer, but also the shape of the yarns and their bonding into the backing tape, whether by SB (styrene butadiene) latex or PU (polyurethane).”  Jon Nash, GM, AMI Plastics and Research*

US Market accounts for only  22 – 25% of global market; Europe represents 48%*

US Market Targets*:

Field Areas for Sports Applications = 51%

Landscape Uses = 38%
(including putting greens and many non-field related market targets)

Other = 11%

Global Market Usage*:

  • Europe – 48%
  • NAFTA – 26%  – largest market in USA = California @ 20mill SF/2007 for landscape and putting green uses alone; markets are also growing agreessively in Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Florida, – adoption for landscape uses in Ohio, Michigan Minnesota, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersy and Connecticut are emerging though the use of artificial turf for golf and putting green projects have been around for over 20 years, across the USA and Europe; 40 years for use as sport fields, both indoor and outside.
  • Far East – 12%
  • Near East – 8%
  • South America – 3%
  • Oceania – 3%

more artificial turf market info at http://www.asgi.us/59.htm 
(synthetic grass market overview page and links)

(*info from Artificial Grass Global Report – 2007; AMI Research at  http://www.amiplastics.com )

  • US owned and operated manufacturers (yarn, mills and backing operations) supply 70-90% of all finished goods to the US Consumer; manufactured under the guidelines of US standards and benchmarks

  • Most surface materials (grass turf and infill) that have been available for the past 18-24 months, are either partially or 100% recyclable, re-usable or reclaimable materials

  • Industry recycles millions of pounds of tire rubber annually – LEED credits
  • Most landscape and field surface grasses are being backed with BioCell ® technology that eliminates up to 60-70% of the petroleum used – LEED credits are available on these materials
  • Many new or expanded conservation efforts, incentive and rebate programs, are now available. New ordinance language and landscape water models for county, water districts, state and federal programs embrace the use of artificial grass systems in the US. Local rebate program information here: http://www.asgi.us/artificial_grass_rebates.htm
  • Recent concerns about lead in fibers, crumb rubber infill materials are all being addressed at the state and federal level to provide clear definitions of safe and effective components and finished goods materials; from an authority outside the industry.
    • In a pro-active manner, the yarn and tufting mills’ market stakeholders have worked with their pigment and additive suppliers and have identified and are adopting new formulations of pigments to reduce lead content, to virtually undetectable levels while still maintaining color-fastness and UV protection.
    • This is a carpet industry-wide effort as the carpet industry uses many of the same raw materials and manufacturing processes as artificial turf and synthetic grass producers will use.
    • There are alternatives to crumb rubber infill materials available on the market now and these products are growing in popularity and adoption.  Infill effects the safety of a sports field surface, so wide-spread adoption must be done after significant real-world tests can show effectiveness and safety standards can be met.
    • Industry stakeholders, through the Synthetic Turf Council, are working with the CPSC, C DC and EPA to help shepherd the publishing of a set of US – EPA/CDC/CPSC approved standards for our systems’ component materials and finished goods – Use the SEARCH Box Above for more postings and report access (search word = lead)

Uses for Residential: Represents approx 80-85% of new business for landscape builders

  • Lawns and landscape areas
    • From flat areas, for tables, chairs to just backyard expanse
    • Slopes – erosion control
    • Side yards
  • Leisure Sports
    • Putting greens
    • Bocce Ball
    • Croquet
    • Outdoor Board Games

Uses for Commercial – represents 15-20% of new business – hot growth sector

  • Landscape applications
  • Lawn and Play areas
  • Slopes and other common areas – parking lots, medians
  • Outdoor dining, activities (amphitheaters, weddings, garden venues)
  • Television and theater
  • Leisure sports – rise in golf and bocce areas
  • Daycare, Senior and Community Center play areas
  • Kennels and Dog Parks
  • Sports fields – represents over 57% of the total market – specific to multi-purpose sports fields
  • Industrial – represents 5-10% of US market – highly targeted, extremely high CoDB
  • Airports – mitigation of dust, erosion, birds, insects and the emphasis of color contrast so that pilots can see, clearly, where runways and other thoroughfares are at; decrease in maintenance, reduces time runways are closed for maintenance, etc.

Recent Technology Update:

  • Newer, more natural looking styles and colors – targeted by market niche to perform as lawns are available in high and low traffic designs and relative to quality cost ranges
  • Permeable surface styles and engineering specifications to comply with city, county & state specifications of co-efficiency and infiltration rates (percolation of the finished job)
  • New formulations of yarn blades are incorporating features such as improved color-fastness with new pigment formulations, superior UV protection, and more yard textures
  • New Infill materials – cooler, inert, more easily cleaned
  • 4th Generation “Thatched” styles are a new tufting specification using two different yarn types and/or styles tufted into traditional or upgraded backing solutions.  The additional blade materials create mass in the lower areas of the fiber and reduce the amount of infill materials required to fill those voids, between the rows of blades. Reduced costs of infill materials are off-set by the increase in cost of tufted grass finished goods and shipping.
  • New solutions to reduce excavation – the use of pad systems. From new technologies to recycled, repurposed “Green Savvy” products

GET YOUR OWN Copies of free industry guidelines – Mac and PC friendly PDF files:
Standard artificial turf and synthetic grass guides for deisgn, buyers guides, estimating and installation, products and systems: Adoption of BMP; product standards and installation guidelines copy of minimum installation guideline available here: http://www.asgi.us/syntheticturfinformationlibrary.htm

(*info from Artificial Grass Global Report – 2007; AMI Research at  http://www.amiplastics.com )

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ASGi
ASGi - the Association of Synthetic Grass Installers was founded in 2007 to help connect market partners and their customers in the artificial grass and synthetic turf industry. We have grown into a global presence, focused upon the niche markets of landscape and leisure sports. Take a moment, browse the site - or email or phone us if we can be of help in answering a question or locating information. Phone US TOLL FREE - 888-378-4581 View all posts by ASGi

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